Mississippi Kite

photo by Phil Swanson

Ictinia mississippiensis
L 14 1/2″(37 cm) W 35″(89 cm).

Song or calls:
Most common call is a high whistled “phee-phew.” “Phee-ti-ti

Description: Sexes similar. Dark gray above, paler gray below. Pale gray head. Black tail distinguishes this bird from similar White-tailed Kite. Juvenile is brown with heavy streaks and spots. Juvenile also has pale bands on underside of tail.

Food: Mississippi Kites catch insects on the wing, and will also take ground prey such as frogs and mice.

Bird Map
Habitat: Scrub and open woodland habitat near water. Rare. Seen across the state.

Where in Nebraska: Rare. Seen across the state. Breeding has occurred with a single pair since 1991 in Ogallala, Nebraska.

Fun Facts: The Mississippi Kite often attacks people who venture too close to its nest, especially in urban areas.

American Goldfinch - photo by Phil Swanson female American Goldfinch - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)